If you are trying to update your kitchen, and just can't afford to be replacing the laminate or wood kitchen counter right now, then here is a cheap way to spruce up your kitchen.
Paint a countertop. Yes it can be done! You just need some patience, the right paints and a weekend. This would probably be the weekend that you use up those takeout coupons for dinner!
Things You Will Need
Here is what you will need:
For a laminate countertop
strong cleaner to get rid of any wax or oil buildup. A good degreaser
Fine to medium grit sandpaper for a quick sand
high adhesion primer, I use the Zinsser brand or similar
Counter top colors. You can do anything here from straight rolling to sponging for that mottled look, which I find looks best when you want to paint a countertop. You don't want it to look like it has been painted, so no brush marks, by using a sponge
a sponge for creating mottled look (hardware and paint stores sell the sea sponge for this)
Varnish (I use water based varnish, since oil based can yellow any white you may have in your countertop colors, but this is your choice)
How to get started:
To paint a countertop, clear off your entire counter, then take your degreaser and give it a really good clean and rinse, then dry well.
Then take your sand paper, and give it a light sanding, just to help the paints stick better and take off the shine if there is one. Take a damp cloth and wipe away any dust from the sanding, and make sure it is dry.
Now take your zinsser high adhesion primer, and paint the entire surface. (You may want to tape off any areas near so you don't get paint on anything. This high adhesion primer sticks well to all surfaces, so take precautions when painting)
Let that dry, and then put on another coat. Let dry.
NOTE: If you are wanting a really dark counter, you can get the zinsser primer tinted to the color of your choice.
Now take your countertop colors and your sponge and pour your paints into pie plates or some other open container that you can dip your sponge into. Sponge one color on the surface, then another until you are happy with the effect. Overlap the colors for a mottled or marble look.
Example: To paint a countertop. I painted mine, when we first moved in our new house, as we could not quite afford the tiles we wanted. So I was stuck with a plywood top for now. I decided to paint it. I got my zinsser primer tinted to black, and then I gave the plywood 2 coats of black. Let it dry.
I then took three shades of green, from very dark to light, and sponged the top with the sea sponge, until I got the effect I wanted. I chose countertop colors that looked like dark green marble. The effect was actually pretty good!
So, you can decide what colors work best for you, but I find if you choose three shades of a color you like and would like for your kitchen then go for it. In my case, by tinting the primer black, it gave the finished painted countertop some depth and realism.
If you don't want to do any of that, this is your choice. You can paint it a solid color. Just make sure and do a couple of coats. The good news, is that if you are painting over a older laminate countertop, it is most likely very smooth and flat, so you can get away with a solid color.
I personally found that by using a sponge style, and three colors over plywood, which can be a bit rougher surface, this gave a marble effect and hid imperfections. So if you have any imperfections, you might want to go for a mottled look.
Once you have the effect you want. Let it dry, and then take your varnish and put on at least three coats of varnish. I chose a high shine for mine, since I was trying to mimic marble, and it gave it a lot of depth. But this is your choice.
Make sure you get lots of varnish around the sink area, and any area that is prone to be wet, like around the base of the faucet etc. Remember this is water resistant, but it would be a good idea to clean up any puddles!
Once you have your three coats of varnish on, and it is dry, you will now have painted a countertop and given your kitchen a facelift!
Now if you are not sick of painting yet, you could paint the walls. and even the cabinets. Paint is cheap, and if you put in the sweat equity, you can completely change the look of your kitchen on the cheap.
Add some fresh linens and you are set to go! A painted countertop if taken care of can last a long time. Mine was suppose to be for only a few months until we could get a tiled one. But I had to paint a countertop so that we could move in, and I had that painted countertop for over 3 years, and it was still hanging in there! The great news is that you can always fix a chip, just keep the paint.
For the inconvenience of not being able to use the kitchen countertop, you can save a lot of money. Another option is to re-laminate your countertop. You can get pieces of laminate at your hardware store. But personally I have found that if you don't do this exactly right, you can tell it was done. So, the painting option works because you are using the top that is right there now.
With all the great paint products that are on the market right now, you can paint a countertop whether it is a laminate one or a wood kitchen counter. These high adhesion primers are brilliant. They will stick to anything including glass! They are great for painting dressers and varnished wood. You only need to do a light sand and you do not need to do any stripping of varnish.
Want to paint a countertop? Then head to the hardware store or paint store, and do some research on all the newest paint products that are on the market. There are even new melamine paints that can paint cabinets and countertops as well. Just do some research and you will find out just how easy it is to paint a countertop and change you kitchen on a shoe string budget.!